Green Brings in the Green: Eco-Consumers Go Wild

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Even the most eco-conscious of you have to buy something. But how much “green buying” is helping the cause, and when is a little moderation called for? The number of booths, and retailers and products at the Green Festival in San Francisco was truly overwhelming. The loot attendees carted away had people listing to one side under the weight of their organic-cotton bags, and I don’t even want to think about the number of Cliff Bars doled out in bite-sized chunks on toothpicks and the number of bottles of Adina beverages and chunks of Fair Trade chocolate served up to tens of thousands of people who braved the crowded aisles .

Wait, stop the press. I sound cynical and am raining on the parade. The Green Festival in San Francisco was great in many ways. Jeff McIntire-Strasburg can give you a good idea of where the fun was.

Let’s accentuate the positive: I may have been dismayed by all of the small samples of cosmetics and potions being doled out in small plastic containers, but there really were some impressive companies exhibiting at the Festival. for one: By carefully choosing products and giving shoppers detailed information about the source materials, manufacturing, use and disposal of each product (and even a relative score across all the criteria), makes it easier to buy, own and dispose of household and office products consciously.

Doug Farquhar and Allison Huke, owners, in the booth at the San Francisco Green Festival.

Providing detailed information about each item in the store is certainly labor-intensive, and online retailing is very competitive. I want to cheer them on and hope that such conscious consuming catches on quick!


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